PARENTING PLANS IN SOUTH AFRICA
WHAT IS A PARENTING PLAN?
In essence, a parenting plan refers to a written agreement between parents, whether biological or adoptive, setting out each party’s parental responsibilities and rights in respect of the minor child/children. This is a detailed document and makes provision for numerous factors relating to the upbringing of the minor child/children, including where the child will primarily reside, and contact between the child and a parent or any other person, the child’s schooling, the child’s religious upbringing as well as his or her financial needs.
BENEFITS OF ENTERING INTO A LEGAL PARENTING PLAN
Parenting plans are convenient in situations where the relationship between co-holders of parental rights has deteriorated to such an extent that the parties can no longer effectively communicate with one another. In this instance, it is highly advised that parents schedule an appointment with a family law attorney to assist them in drawing up a parenting plan. This way, an agreement can be reached that is mutually beneficial to both the parents as well as the minor children.
It is of vital importance to ensure that every parenting plant promote the best interest of the child. Furthermore, a parenting plan must be in writing and signed by the parties thereto. Mandatory parenting plans must be registered with a family advocate and made an order of the court. Such an application must be accompanied with a copy of the respective parenting plan, together with an endorsement from the family advocate.
As the parenting plan is a legally binding document, both parents are required not to deviate from same. If circumstances change parenting plans can be revised.